Friday, September 14, 2018

SCCM CB 1806 Site server high availability step by step guide

With the release of SCCM CB 1806, High Availability feature is introduced for SCCM site server using active and passive modes.

To use site server high availability feature the design must meet certain requirements as below;
- Site must be running on minimum 1806
- Content library on site server has to be remote and with full control permissions for both servers
- Active and Passive site servers has to be on the same domain
- Connect to the same site database
- Site database must to be remote to each server
- Both the servers must have sysadmin permissions on the database
- Passive mode server should not have any other site system role before installing site server passive mode role
- Must meet all the site server prerequisites

First upgrade the SCCM CB site to 1806. When installing or upgrading the site make sure that Site server high availability is selected (by default it is selected);

For this guide my lab setup is;
LABPRI1 – Primary site server (Active) with SMS provider
LABPRI2 – Primary site server (Will be passive) with SMS provider
LABSQL1– SQL Server 1
LABSQL2 – SQL Server 2
LABAOAGLS – Listener for AlwaysOn group
LABDPMP – DP, MP roles and Remote content library

The setup is using SQL AlwaysOn for database HA and connected with listener.

Make Content folder as a remote folder to both the site servers:
If the content library is local on the primary site server move that to a remote location;
Create a network share on a different server for site server content library and assign full control to both the site servers (active and passive).

 Note: Make sure remote content folder is not the root folder. It has to be under another folder as above i,e      \\unc\share1\RemoteContent
If the content library folder is in root then when moving the content, it will fail with 0x800700a1 error.

In Configuration Manager Console, Go to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites, then 
Right click on the site then select Manage Content Library or On the ribbon click on Manage Content Library

In the Manage Content Library window, enter a valid network path for the New Location. This path is the location to where the site moves the content library. It must include a folder name that already exists on the share, for example, \\server\share\folder. Click OK

Check the progress of the content move in the Content Library column on the Summary tab of the details panel. While In progress, the Move Progress (%) value displays the percentage completed.

We can also check the progress in distmgr.log;

When the content move is completed successfully, the distmgr.log will show MoveContentLibrary() completed, also the console will show the content location to remote including the remote path.

Install Passive site server role:
Go to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites in SCCM console then right click on the sites then click Create site system server.
This will start Site system server wizard, on the general page, enter the server name then click next;

On Specify roles for this server window select Site Server in passive mode then click next;

On site server in passive mode window;
- select appropriate choice for source file location;
- And select the installation folder.
It is a good idea to select similar drive as Active node installation path then click next;

Review the summary then click next;

Click close on the completion window;

Soon after closing the wizard, the installer will start copying the files (SMS_BOOTSTRAP) to the selected installation drive.

Review ConfigMgrSetup.log on the root of C drive on the passive node. Once the setup is completed, the ConfigMgrSetup.log will show “Completed Configuration Manager Site Server setup - Installation”.

To check the nodes of Site servers go to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites then switch to Nodes in the bottom.

Now there will be two site servers listed one is in Active Mode and other server is in Passive mode;

At this stage, we have two site servers and one SMS provider. If we tried to promote passive mode to Active it will connect to SCCM provider on the primary site.

By default, when installing the passive site server role it won’t install SMS Provider role. This role need to be installed after installing the Passive mode site server role.

To check the SMS provider location, Select the site from \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites then right click and open the properties. The General tab will display the SMS provider location; 

Installing SMS Provider:
To Install SMS Provider, run Setup.exe from ConfigMgr installation directory;

Click next on Before you Begin window;

On the Getting started window under Available setup Options, select Perform site maintenance or reset this site then click next;

On Site Maintenance window select Modify SMS Provider Configuration then click next;

On Manage SMS Provider window select Add a new SMS Provider then enter the SMS Provider FQDN name;
- If installed on the Passive node then enter the passive node server name
- If installed on a separate server enter the server FQDN name, then click next;

Monitor the progress of provider installation on Configuration page;

Close the wizard when configuration completes;

To check the installed SMS providers, go to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites in SCCM console.
The General page of the site properties will display two SMS Providers;

Promoting Passive Mode site server to Active Mode:
To promote Passive mode site server to Active mode go to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites, on the summary page switch to nodes tab then select and right click passive mode server then select promote to active;

Click Yes on the warning message to promote passive server to active mode;

The status will change from Passive to Promoting;

In few min. the status will change from Promoting to OK;
 Monitor the FailoverMgr.log from <ConfigMgrInstallDir>\Logs\FailOverMgr.log"
Now LABPRI2 is active node and PABPRI1 is passive node.
To see the HA functionality, turn off the passive node (Primary1 where SMS provider is installed).
Once the server is offline, re-launch the SCCM console.
The console will fail to connect to the LABPRI1 server, where previously it was connected to.

Click on Connect to a new site then enter FQDN of LABPRI2 (New active mode site server);

The console is successfully connected to LABPRI2 using the SMS provider on LABPRI2;


  1. Well written document, thank you.

  2. Hi Venu,
    Is there any impact on using passive node as second SMS provider in the production?
    Microsoft documentation is not very clear on why second SMS provider on the separate server then the passive site server?


  3. Hi Venu,
    Well written documentation. Simple and clear. Better than MS ones. Under Requirement please include Distribution Point "MUST" be removed/uninstalled from active server in order to allow migrating Content Library to UNC. If the latter is installed then "Manage Content Library" will be greyed out.

  4. Please add SQL requirement, SQL enterprise is a must, SQL standard version can't be used. SCCM standby server can't be created with even SQL 2016 or 2017 BAG.
    M$ give out SQL standard for system center use, but it does not support SCCM HA.

  5. Good explanation about SMS Provider just read MS blog they left this part out.

  6. Easy to follow, lot of screenshots, love this guide, thanks for publishing!

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